Why I Hate Religion.

“Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” by spoken-word artist Jefferson Bethke has received more than 10.2 million YouTube views as of Saturday night since it was posted just four days ago, eliciting more than 100,000 YouTube comments and plenty of debate elsewhere on the Internet.


From his YouTube page we read: “In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At it‘s core Jesus’ gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can’t do your own list of rules and feel “not good enough” for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don’t represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!”

Your thoughts?

"New York State of Mind"

This article is a re-print from Bill Fairchild, a Painful Truth Contributor.


Billy Joel published a song with that title in 1975. The song is melancholy, and is about a New Yorker who is sorry he moved away and is longing to get back to the Manhattan he so sorely misses.

I used to dislike New York City. It always seemed dirty, over-crowded, crime-ridden, and filled with endless traffic jams and so many mentally unstable people.

I have been to Manhattan several times on business trips and personal vacations, and have had my mental stereotypes reaffirmed by some people there but have also have my prejudices upset by other New Yorkers who seemed genuinely friendly, caring, and like real human beings.

I have a much different opinion now. All of a sudden, I am proud of New York City and its people. On television I see men wearing hard hats who are working 12-hour shifts to remove the 1,200,000 tons of rubble that used to be the World Trade Center that now lie in an ugly heap on top of what used to be 6,000 human beings. Those emotionally devastated emergency workers, many of whom have suddenly lost dozens of close friends in one stroke, are forcing themselves to keep working. They will stay at it until they break down. Hooray for their indomitable spirit! I am proud that New York City is a part of my homeland, and that I am privileged to live in a nation that has a place as fine as New York City.

New Yorkers have proven worthy of their giant guardian, the Statue of Liberty. I still get goose-bumps when I read Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” that is carved on its base: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I am also terribly proud of the men who attacked the hijackers on the plane that crashed into rural Pennsylvania. I doubt that any plane can be hijacked in the United States now. There would be dozens of passengers swarming all over the hijackers within seconds.

An often told joke was that New York City was a great place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there. I want to go visit New York City even more now, to share in the pain of those who are suffering, to experience the enthusiasm and resolve evinced by those who are cleaning up so they can start to rebuild, to do my part in stimulating that area economically by spending tourist dollars there, to tell strangers there how proud of them I am, and to be inspired by their heroic examples.

But I have to admit that I want to live there even less than before. I would be proud to live there if I had to, but only if I had to, because I think that that great warren of high-rise office buildings, subways, tunnels, and millions of people have become a very dangerous place to live and work. And those who could move away but choose to continue living and working there are also heroes simply for staying put.

The devastation caused on September 11 by a small gang of psychopaths should be a mind-jarring wake-up call to the whole world of the dangers of crazed religious cults. Those of us who have come out of the fanatical religious cult called Armstrongism should be painfully aware that what Al-Qaeda did on 911 is the same that we could have done if Armstrong’s cult had been allowed to continue growing unchecked.

 

Every person on earth needs to read “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer. If we all read it, then perhaps a few may be plucked from the fire of endemic cultism. Hoffer wrote this book in 1951, long before the Worldwide Church of God became prominent or a hundred-million dollar a year engine of fraud. He certainly wasn’t writing his book just about Herbert W. Armstrong’s cult. Yet when I read this book in 1974 and when I reread it this year, almost every page seems to contain a warning about HWA and his cult.

The full title of Hoffer’s book is “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements.” Hoffer discusses common traits found in those who start mass movements, those who lead mass movements, those who become the top lieutenants in mass movements, and those who join mass movements at the bottom level. He also discusses the life cycle of mass movements – how they are born, how they grow, and how they stagnate and die.

I urge everyone reading this web page to read Hoffer’s excellent little book. As you read it, think of the following, for they are all examples of the mass movements he had in mind when writing it: the Roman Empire, Christianity, Islam, the Crusades, the Salem witch hunt, the American Revolution of 1776, the French Revolution of 1789, the anti-Tsarist revolution in Russia in 1917, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, Stalin’s purges in the 1930s, Stalin’s gulags, Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s fascist Italy, Japan’s warrior society, Armstrongism, Gandhi in India, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, McCarthyism, all American religious revivalists (e.g., A. A. Allen, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Rex Humbard, Pat Robertson), National Organization for Women, hippies, Mao’s cultural revolution in China, Pol Pot in Cambodia, Jim Jones and the People’s Temple, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, Aum Shin Rikyo in Japan, Promise Keepers, Heaven’s Gate, the Solar Temple, and the New Age movement.

Not all the movements I mentioned above turned out bad. Hoffer discusses how mass movements can end up being a positive change in humanity as well as becoming destructive.

Here are some quotes from Hoffer’s book that relate obviously to HWA’s gigantic fraud disguised as a cult disguised as a church that I hope will whet your appetite to read the whole book:

  • All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die …, breed … fervent hope … and intolerance, … demand blind faith…
  • Faith in the future renders us receptive to change. … All mass movements are interchangeable [explains how fervent cultists can easily jump from one cult to another]. …
  • We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or … “to be free from freedom.” … a proselytizing mass movement must break down all existing group ties if it is to win a considerable following … the inordinately selfish …are likely to be the most persuasive champions of selflessness [think about HWA, GTA, and their hideous excesses]…
  • All mass movements deprecate the present by depicting it as a mean preliminary to a glorious future, a mere doormat on the threshold of the millennium. …
  • A deprecating attitude toward the present fosters a capacity for prognostication … the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine …
  • To rely on the evidence of the senses and of reason is heresy … those who find no difficulty in deceiving themselves are easily deceived by others … stripping each human entity of its distinctiveness and … turning it into an anonymous particle with no will and no judgment of its own … a homogeneous plastic mass that can be kneaded at will. … the leader of a mass movement … relies on miracles … mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil …
  • Every difficulty and failure within the movement is the work of the devil…
  • In the phenomenal spread of Islam, conquest was a primary factor and conversion was a by-product. …
  • The main requirements [for a mass movement’s leader] seem to be: audacity and a joy in defiance; an iron will; a fanatical conviction that he is in possession of the one and only truth; … and, above all, the ability to evoke fervent devotion in a group of able lieutenants [like all the evangelists, Raymond “Mr. Loyalty” McNair, Gerald Waterhouse, Rod Meredith, etc.]
  • There can be no mass movement without some deliberate misrepresentation of facts. … the atmosphere of an active movement stifles the creative spirit.
  • The fanatic is also mentally cocky … the conviction that life and the universe conform to a simple formula …
  • In the eyes of the true believer, people who have no holy cause are without backbone and character … fanaticism … was a Judaic-Christian invention.”

If anyone wants to let someone else do his thinking for him, he should remember Auschwitz, Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that nose-dived into the soil of southwestern Pennsylvania. This is where religious fanaticism ends up – death, destruction, and thousands of survivors grieving for those who are lost and wondering how could so many people believe such insanity. Anyone who thinks he has found an infallible leader, knows the absolute truth, or is on a mission from God should reflect on where such ideas can lead. Religious fanaticism and cultism can easily lead to lying to oneself, lying to others, murder, mass murder, and mass destruction. All cultists, extremists, and zealots need to think about the missing 6,000 people and the missing World Trade Center, put themselves into a New York state of mind, and think about what their zeal may lead them to do.

Peace.

Bill Fairchild Douglas, Mass. 09 OCT 01

British Israel Propaganda And Deceit. Part II

Forward: In Part One I wrote about spiritual communism and the useful idiots that support the idea of a one world government. This theocratic “New World Order” is represented by the “Churches of God” and are to be ruled by a king that descends from the heavens above.

 

Part Two

Armstrong-ism. A Parasitic Leech.

Mark Armstrong, the grandson of Herbert Armstrong, wrote an article entitled The Misappropriation of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Name.” In this article he laments the constant misuse of his grandfathers name for the benefit of not so few in the ministry. Mark writes “News came to me this week that is sickening. That is, that one of those claiming to have inherited “the authority of Herbert W. Armstrong” has told his congregation that they should liquidate any holdings and send in their money.”

How many abuses will be committed in the name of my deceased Grandfather? And how long will some poor abused people remain in a state of deception, or worse, mind control?”

Mark tells it like it is. I have lost count as to how many of the “Churches of God” have proclaimed the authority of Herbert W. Armstrong as if he handed them personally the keys to his “thiefdom.”

(Mark, have your eyes been closed and ears plugged as to the abuses of these self proclaimed apostles and prophets?) These parasites have been using your Granddad’s legacy and family name to impoverish people, and undermining their financial security for decades! They are just following the successful corporate model that Herbert Armstrong implemented.

A Marxist is a Parasitic Leech.

 

While the communist is busy beating his people to death and they are dying of hunger…”

It was communists who a century ago came up with the idea of Income Tax… it was intended to fleece the rich of their wealth and to level everyone to the ground.” Likewise, the “Churches of God” have been successful in using the resources of the “people” in order to build and support their theocratic New World Order. The tax was a tithe, or two, and in some years, three. The squeezing (extorting) money from the membership kept committed and submissive sheeple in line. Like in a communist society, rebelling meant sure death. Now the Armstrong churches might not shoot you in the head, but they claim the authority of God almighty to have you thrown into the lake of fire! It is this alone that kept you and I in line and submissive to their authority. The end game was about money and power. As one article in particular pointed out on the Painful Truth, the organization existed for itself alone. There was no love, mercy or compassion, only contempt!

Earth-bound.

Within the closed totalitarian society of Armstrong-ism lies the seeds of its own destruction. Unable to grow exponentially and unchecked, the information age has decreased the survivability factor a thousand fold. Potential members who never heard of Herbert Armstrong will find umpteen web-sites and articles that offer information on the man and the organization he administrated. Few web-sites are supportive of his efforts and rightfully so.

The unscathed mind will articulate the deception with a click of the mouse! With incredible ease one can decipher this insane notion that America and Britain are the decedents of some lost tribes of ancient Israel. The belief that modern Israel is the result of a promise made to Abraham, and that prophecy cannot be understood without this knowledge, is the Achilles heel that will bring down the movement. It is just unbelievable how many hoops one has to jump through to come to the conclusion that America and the Brits are heir to the promise made to Abraham. The necessary twisting of the scriptures alone is enough to drive the discerning mind far from the grasping hands of the COG gurus!

The “Churches of God” just stunt their growth with all their nutty ideas. They undercut their ability to grow and prosper, to change and move forward. They bash communism, and at the same time express their love for free market capitalism. If they were capitalist they would allow the free expression of the membership in choosing the next generation of leaders. But that is not how they work. Free expression is the enemy of the totalitarian gurus. It is the deathblow to the organization and the power of the upper-class who rule over the regime. If there is to be change it must come from free-thinking individuals who are committed to the free expression of ideas within the confines of their church. The problem is, just how do you open minds in a heavy handed religious regime without being sacrificed on the alter of dissent?

More on the next blog entry.

Inside North Korea. Cultism and the guru.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxLBywKrTf4

“IF GOD DON’T GIT YA, MY GUN MIGHT!”

by Allen C. Dexter


Why do some people seem to be compelled to take firearms to religious and political events, irrespective of any threat to them or any public need outside of their personal need for show and intimidation?

I brought this question up to my little comedienne wife. She commented that it’s just a macho extension of their penises – a “mine is bigger than yours” kind of thing. She has also often commented that men want to drive around in big trucks for which they have no utilitarian use because they think their “wienies” are too small.

She’s right!

It’s all about creating an atmosphere of superiority, fear and ultimately of control.

I’m no psychologist, but I’ve read enough on the subject to know that many things, from big hats to exaggerated shoulder pads are used in an attempt to project masculinity and superiority and intimidate anyone perceived as an opponent. Remember the recent commercial where the father-in-law said admiringly, “This is a man’s truck?” It shows up in the Texas saying, “big hat, no cattle.” Remember the cold war saying: “kill a commie for Christ?” Did you ever wonder why “Onward, Christian Soldiers” is such a popular hymn? We sang it more than any other in the old WCG. We probably should have sung “You’re In the Army Now!” A great religious organization is called “The Salvation Army.” We seem to want to equate Calvary with the cavalry. You can almost hear the query, “My neighbor doesn’t believe in God — Can I smite him?” Why does an “omnipotent” God want or even need hit men (or women)?

It’s not as common a syndrome in women, but they are subject to similar mindsets that usually revolve around things like big bosoms, dazzlingly smooth complexions and hourglass figures. As they become more of an equal force in business and society, that is changing. More women are thinking and acting much like men.

The desire to dominate, attract and intimidate is a basic drive in all primates and other evolutionarily advanced creatures. The more narcissistic one becomes, the greater the drive.

Two forces, religion and politics, like no others, lend themselves to the utilization of guns and super weapons as instruments of dominance and control.

It took the form of swords, spears, bows and arrows, etc. until the advent of firearms. We see it in action in the blood soaked accounts of the Old Testament. Most of the great heroes of scripture were mighty warriors. Jesus is painted returning as a conquering king wielding a devastating sword and a rod of iron.

There is nothing human society and religion pictures as more manly than the conquering hero, whether it’s on the battlefield or the college gridiron. Many of our presidents became presidents because they were military heroes. That includes our first president. Patton was right when he said Americans (really all humans) have no respect for losers.

The purpose of military power is to be able to call the tunes to which other nations are compelled to dance. Multiple billions are spent in an unending struggle to maintain our military supremacy. Area 51 really does exist. It has always been so ever since one family or tribe cast covetous eyes on the territory and resources of the family or tribe next door and realized their aspirations could be accomplished easier if their clubs and sharp rocks were bigger and/or more lethal. Even our chimp cousins apparently go to war with neighboring chimp communities. We are not unique in our propensity for violence within our own kind.

Religions also jockey for dominance and dream of becoming the only accepted religion. Violence and the threat of violence often become the tool of choice in the hoped for attainment of their aspirations. For example, the administrative editor of this site doesn’t make his full name or his address known because he has received death threats over what is published here. Horrible things like Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason” my book, “Believing the Unbelievable” the history of how the christian church and the Bible as we know it came to be and of course this, “The Painful Truth Blog.”

This emphasis on real and threatened violence has fallen to the lunatic fringe in the background of most of Christianity, but it comes to the fore quite easily when extremists take over causes like anti-abortion. Then, we hear talk of things like “the Phineas priesthood.”

Violence is very much at the forefront of Islam. They have never renounced their doctrine of spreading Islam by the sword. They can’t renounce it because they dare not admit their great prophet said or wrote anything that was wrong.

Guns are viewed as convenient “equalizers.” If a 90-pound weakling who has always felt put upon and persecuted can avail himself of a firearm, he has the potential to turn the tables on those he regards as his enemies and tormenters. Usually, it amounts to only swagger and implied threats, like a chimp who finds he can make a terrifyingly intimidating din and enhance his standing in the group by rolling an oil drum around and beating on it with a stick.

When a serious mental pathology enters the picture, the results can be devastating. Witness what recently occurred in Tucson. The wide-eyed booking picture of the assailant reminded me of the wild looking eyes of Marshall Applewhite, the Heaven’s Gate founder who led his followers into mass suicide. It will be interesting to read what qualified psychologists have to say about his mental pathologies.

~Rebelling against Gods true leadership on earth~Terry RAtzmann

The Tucson assailant was definitely a “crazo” who should have been treated and probably institutionalized. The signs were everywhere and such deranged people are all too common as local authorities struggle against budgets and the need to maintain individual civil rights. It’s a thorny problem.

Outlawing guns for our population would accomplish nothing in stopping the “weirdos” among us. They would just resort to black market firearms, homemade bombs and craft their own “zip guns.” Or, they’d use crossbows or something else. Even a fireplace poker and kitchen knife can be used to kill. In the meantime, the average citizen would find himself helpless against the home invader and a myriad of other criminals who would always find ways to get guns.

Every sane law abiding citizen should be able to own guns for hunting, sport or protection. There are many utilitarian, practical reasons to own guns. Those common sense reasons are why we have the second amendment to our constitution.

When World War II descended upon the unprepared democracies, we were all at a preliminary disadvantage as far as our decimated and ill-equipped military readiness was concerned. The British were especially at a disadvantage because their gun laws prevented most of their citizenry from owning guns. We not only had to brave the submarine wolf packs to help them arm their military, but also to provide arms for their home guard militias.

The US, although relatively unprepared militarily, was in a far different and far better position, which was a great worry to knowledgeable Japanese. Many of them had been students in American universities. They had been guests in American homes and had seen the well stocked gun cabinets full of everything from side arms to shotguns and big game rifles. They knew we could field armed citizen’s militias in a matter of days and hours.

Invading the mainland USA would have been a tactical nightmare!

Hitler basically “waltzed into Poland” in 1939 because the Poles had outlawed private ownership of guns and had allowed their military to deteriorate so far that they basically had no air force and had to oppose panzer tanks with mounted cavalry. The Swiss, by contrast, were armed to the teeth and were never threatened.

I remember the day World War II began. I was five years old at the time and had ridden to town with my grandfather who was delivering a load of grain. The elevator operator announced that Hitler had just attacked Poland. My grandfather thought a moment, then said: “Well, we whipped the bastards once; we can do it again.” We did and fought a two front war on opposite sides of the world to do it. As Churchill said, it was our finest hour and that was our greatest generation — so far, at least.

I no longer own a single gun. I sold them all and gave to my own son the .22 rifle my father had given me at the age of 14 so I could hunt rabbits and gophers. I had previously made use of a Daisy air rifle to hunt sparrows and other “varmints” on our North Dakota ranch. I no longer feel a need for firearms.

I won’t be going hunting anymore, and I’m not too worried about being burglarized or attacked in my home. My guns were just gathering dust and taking up space. Someone younger can shoulder the citizen’s militia responsibility, should the need arise. I’d fill in as a support volunteer which would be far more practical to my advancing age. Marching, drilling and combat wouldn’t fit very well with my current physical prowess.

The real problem is a psychological, philosophical and theological one. As long as religious and political extremists tell us that it is up to us to force others to see things our way, by means of possible violence, and hint at that violence, there will be the danger of even more Tucsons. There are a multitude of mentally unstable people out there just waiting for the opportune time and excuse to strike. They will feel like the godly successors to Phineas and/or patriotic avengers and feel no guilt in wiping out those they consider the enemy, and claim a few innocent bystanders as collateral damage while they are at it.

The “It’s going to be my way or it’s the warfare highway” attitude has to end. The “Hell no, you can’t” rants have to halt. Superimposing target symbols on political opponents has to be abandoned by all parties. Democracy doesn’t work the way such people want it to work – which is really tantamount to a monarchy, a dictatorship or a fascist theocracy.

They will loudly trumpet their love of democracy just so long as it coincides with their interpretation of what is right and proper and truly American. Many of them would want to run Thomas Paine and Jefferson out of town on a rail after they had been tarred and feathered, were they around today. They’ve already barred Thomas Jefferson’s writings from being taught in some places.

What’s next? I suspect even more enforced ignorance and pressure to conform – all in the name of Americanism.

Where’s the swastika? The hammer and sickle? The star and crescent?

Oh, that’s right, it’s the cross (and gun?) here.

Editors note: For the Church of God members who never vote but bitch a lot about the conditions in America, this video is dedicated to you.

-James